Peptidases and proteinases

Formerly known as: Proteases


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Peptidases and proteinases hydrolyse peptide bonds, and can be simply divided on the basis of whether terminal peptide bonds are cleaved (exopeptidases and exoproteinases) at the amino terminus (aminopeptidases) or carboxy terminus (carboxypeptidases). Non-terminal peptide bonds are cleaved by endopeptidases and endoproteinases, which are divided into serine endopeptidases (EC 3.4.21.-), cysteine endopeptidases (EC 3.4.22.-), aspartate endopeptidases (EC 3.4.23.-), metalloendopeptidases (EC 3.4.24.-) and threonine endopeptidases (EC 3.4.25.-).

It is beyond the scope of the Guide to list all peptidase and proteinase activities; this summary focuses on selected enzymes of significant pharmacological interest.

Further reading

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NC-IUPHAR subcommittee and family contributors

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How to cite this family page

Database page citation:

Peptidases and proteinases. Accessed on 27/11/2015. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY,

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Benson HE, Faccenda E, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, Spedding M, Peters JA and Harmar AJ, CGTP Collaborators. (2013) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14: Enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 170: 1797–1867.